The Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club (CLWAC) is holding the 120th annual Open Juried Exhibition through Dec 16 at the National Arts Club in NYC and Friday, Dec 9 is the benefit reception that supports the Metropolitan Museum of Art, most specifically the Travel and Research fund for the Met’s curators. The funds allow curators to travel and research work that they expect to include in an exhibition. With the advantages of the Internet and before that DVD’s of museum’s collections, curators were able to get an idea of what is available. Now, doing that research allows them to narrow down choices. It is still imperative to see the work in person. A curator from the museum speaks at the reception and it is always a delightful affair.
I’ve been a member of this group for many years and am honored to be one of the Honorary Chairwomen for the event. The quality of the work and the variation of styles and mediums make this an interesting and stimulating show and a great opportunity to meet artists from across the country. 2 years ago I met Donna Catotti, an exhibiting artist who came to the reception from Alaska. We began to chat and a year and a half later , after a gracious invitation, I visited her and had a fabulous experience. You can see my postings on instagram and in the near future I’ll be posting blogs about my time in Alaska. Donna was awarded the Ridgewood Art Institute’s Award for Excellence in Painting
The benefit reception was very well attended with artists, their friends and family. Several paintings were sold. I kept hearing people say it was the best show so far and I agree.
This year’s honored member is Naomi Campbell. Naomi has been a member of CLWAC for many years and has worked tirelessly for the Club. She is an accomplished, thoughtful interdisciplinary artist, innovating in multiple media from watercolor to sculpture and even X-rays and seeds.
Naomi is an instructor of the contemporary figure in watercolor at The Art Students League in NYC. She is currently in a residency program at the ISCP (International Studio and Curatorial Program) and often lectures at art colleges and organizations where she has been an invited guest artist to critique and judge graduate work and exhibitions. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in museums, galleries and art fairs in the US, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and numerous other countries. Besides all of this Naomi is a warm, sincere and delightful person and it has been my pleasure to watch her evolve over these many years that I have been associated with CLWAC.
Much of the following history is pulled from the CLWAC website (www.clwac.org) and there is a beautiful book, A Chronicle: The Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, Founded in 1896 for Women Artists — in Paperback published 2012 and available by contacting the CLW and on amazon.
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe (1828-1887) was a prominent New York philanthropist and art collector, and the only woman among the 106 founders of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Her philanthropic work included supporting the Newsboys’ Lodging House and Industrial School (an outgrowth of Charles Loring Brace’s movement to help care for New York’s homeless children; she financed archaeological missions, including one that unearthed Nippur, one of the most ancient of Sumerian cities; she was also involved with the American Museum of Natural History, which her father had helped to found.
The bequest of her art collection was her most significant philanthropic endeavor. Additionally she left an endowment to Grace Church in Manhattan to promote “women’s work.” At the urging of Rector Dr. William Reed Huntington and several parishioners, the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club was established in 1896. Women artists would meet, have tea and sandwiches, and learn about aid and exhibition opportunities available to women artists in New York City.
The Club sponsors a Members Annual exhibition each spring, the annual open Juried exhibition, occasional lectures and demonstrations that are open to Members, Associates, Donors, Patrons and Benefactors.